First Grade At Inskip
I couldn’t wait to go to first grade. With four older siblings going to school and leaving me behind every day, I was more than ready. September was quickly approaching. As the time grew closer, I began to get a little nervous. I told Mother, “They won’t want me at school. I don’t know how to read or write.” Mother explained that was the reason I would be enrolling in first grade.
Our school was overcrowded. The post-war years had produced a lot of us. That’s why we are called the Baby Boomer generation. My first grade class had to meet in the boys locker room, off of the gymnasium. I recall our library tables being in the shower room. My teacher didn’t think it was at all humorous when my curiosity got the best of me. I just HAD to see if the shower worked. It did!
I settled into first grade and discovered that I loved to learn. Arithmetic was fun. Mrs. Wilcox was so sweet. I adored her. She woud give each of us ten Popsicle sticks. We would use these to “take away” and “add”. She didn’t call it addition and subtraction.
About six weeks into the school year, Mrs. Wilcox left. We got a new teacher. This new gal was a screamer and I did not like that! One day, she had yelled, and screamed, and hollered until I couldn’t take it anymore. I got my 5 year old behind up and headed for home. I walked the long route home, steaming, but still proud of myself for taking such a bold stand.
When I arrived at home, Mother was stunned. “Pamela! What are you doing home?”, she asked. “Well, I’m tired of that teacher yellin’ and screamin’ at me. She’ll look out and see I’m gone, and she’ll be sorry!”,I stood firm in my beliefs. Mother put my baby sister and me in the car and drove straight to the school. When she drove up to the door, she could hear the teacher screaming. Boy-eeee! My mother whipped in there like no-body’s business and gave that teacher a talkin’ to. “I can hear you all the way outside.” she said. “Could you really?”,asked Teacher. She promised Mother that she would do better, but I don’t remember having to go back to the classroom that day, and the teacher didn’t keep her promise. The whole year was so bad, that I have blocked her name from my memory. Maybe it will come to me when I tell you about the day I got to visit the Principal’s office.